Students are required to select a concentration in the Advanced Curriculum. Concentrations available are Clinical and Macro. Each concentration has specific course requirements in addition to those required in the specialization. 

Secondary Concentration Option

It is also possible to elect a secondary concentration in conjunction with a primary one. A secondary concentration will expose the student to some of the content from the other concentration through study in two courses.

A student interested in this educational plan would satisfy all of the requirements for either the clinical or Macro concentration, including the diversity requirement. The student would also complete two courses from the other concentration. Thirty-six advanced credits are required at a minimum. Students choosing a secondary concentration must develop their plan of study carefully.


Samantha Fuld Co-Chairs:  
Samantha Fuld, DSW, MSW,LCSW-C
Ed Pecukonis, PhD, MSW 

The Clinical Concentration provides a comprehensive gateway into the world of clinical social work. More direct clinical services are provided by social workers than any other profession in the United States. Our goal is to provide an education and field practicum that prepares graduates for the rapidly changing world of practice. Clinical social workers are licensed to provide a range of therapeutic services to children, adolescents, adults, older adults and their families across multiple settings using a wealth of treatment modalities.

Course Information

Students in the clinical concentration take two required courses, Advanced Clinical Interventions and Psychopathology. Advanced Clinical Interventions teaches students how to apply theoretical models in client assessment and treatment. Psychopathology is a comprehensive immersion into assessment, the use of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Version 5-TR, and evidence-supported practices. The clinical concentration also provides in-depth direct practice courses that focus on families, couples, and groups utilizing cutting-edge treatment approaches. In keeping with social work’s history of providing services in multiple contexts and settings, the program offers courses on working in schools, hospitals, behavioral health settings, and child welfare agencies.

Population-specific Courses in Clinical
  • Military service members & their families
  • Trauma survivors
  • People with serious health conditions
  • People with serious mental illness
  • Individuals with substance use disorders
  • LGBTQI+ communities
  • Older Adults
  • African American families
  • Immigrants and refugees
Clinical Field Placements in the Advanced Year

In the advanced year, clinical field placements provide an intensive learning experience across over 400 settings throughout the region and abroad. Examples of these settings include: in-patient and out-patient behavioral health facilities and community-based clinics; health care settings that serve people across the lifespan; departments of social service; child welfare settings; the Veterans Administration; social service; non-profits, court systems, employee assistance programs; and school settings.


Joan Davitt Co-Chairs:
Joan Davitt MSW, PhD

Lane Victorson, MSW

The Macro concentration prepares graduates for careers that improve organizations, communities, and society through positive social change. Macro social workers are prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st century with knowledge, skills, and attitudes developed through a diverse curriculum, internship, called a field practicum, and other opportunities offered by our program

Dynamic leadership, stakeholder engagement, resource development, program management, and policy analysis will enable graduates to solve today’s biggest problems with creativity and a commitment to social justice. Although not required, students are encouraged to select an area of focus in one of three practice areas: 1) Community Action, 2) Organizational Leadership, and 3) Policy Advocacy.

Community Action Focus

The community action focus prepares students for careers in neighborhood and community organizing, political campaigns, and movement leadership as catalysts, coordinators, power brokers, negotiators, activists, and organizers. Coursework in this area develops students’ skills in asset mapping, advocacy through media, analyzing power structures, strengthening community connections, improving service delivery and community economic development.

Organizational Leadership Focus

The organizational leadership focus prepares students for careers in government, human service and nonprofit organizations as supervisors, team leaders, program managers, and transformational organization leaders. Coursework in this area develops students’ skills in the design, implementation, and management of programs and services, talent and resource development, performance measurement, budgeting, and leadership to target change in people, organizations, and culture.

Policy Advocacy Focus

The policy advocacy focus prepares students for careers in the development, implementation, and evaluation of public policy in government and nonprofit organizations as thought leaders, researchers, educators, and policy advocates. Coursework in this area develops students’ knowledge of current policies in the context of history and political economy, skills to analyze and advocate for policy options, and mastery of how public policies and programs affect marginalized populations, including how such communities can impact the policymaking process and drive social change.

What Can I Do as a Macro Practitioner?

Macro Graduate Testimonials

Michael Walter, MSW '15

Program Coordinator, Criminal and Juvenile Justice Program and Drug Addiction Treatment Program

Open Society Institute–Baltimore

I wouldn’t have gotten the job I did after graduation without my macro-level coursework and field placement at the School of Social Work. The Community Organization course introduced me to community organizing, which led to my advanced-year field placement at Greater Homewood Community Corporation. The experience I got there working with Baltimore City residents and neighborhood groups gave me insight into the many issues that people across the city encounter on a daily basis, and prepared me to work with city agencies and other stakeholders to advocate for better programs and policies. The Comparative Social Policy course prepared me to engage in policy analysis and advocacy as a way to bring about social change in areas that I am passionate about, such as mass incarceration and structural racism in the criminal justice system.

Nathan Mishler, MSW '15. 

As a safety and security Data Analyst at Peace Corps, I am responsible for retrieving, synthesizing, and communicating sensitive security data to help personnel mitigate, prevent, and respond to crimes against Volunteers. By combining social work's emphasis of holistically viewing someone as a person in an environment with the social determinants of health from the Comparative Social Policy course; I can better articulate why a volunteer’s multiple stressors and possible multiple minor victimizations can put them at an increased risk for experiencing a severe incident. The comparative social policy course enabled me to better challenge the status quo in disarming ways. Framing issues through a multi-disciplined lens—such as the social determinants of health—enables social workers to influence arenas where our perspective and our voice are sorely missed."

Raine K. Cunningham, MSW '15

Manager, Just Kids Campaign

As a first year student in the School of Social Work in Fall 2013, I was unsure about which path to choose, Clinical or Macro? My first year placement was within SWCOS where I was placed at an elementary/middle school across MLK practicing both Clinical and Macro skills. Along with one of my most challenging yet favorite courses, Intro to Policy with Dr. Nalini Negi, I found my passion geared more towards policy and program management. Through experiences in the Baltimore City School System I was able to truly understand the deeply entrenched systematical injustices that plague our inner city schools and affect all students… I knew that counseling wouldn’t be enough for me, but I would need to seek out job opportunities that allowed me to advocate for policy changes and develop sustainable programs in urban communities. I changed my major from Macro/Clinical to Macro, concentrating in Community Action and Social Policy.

I am now the Campaign Manager for Just Kids where I will assist in community outreach efforts, coordinate the coalition, and coordinate the Just Kids Speakers Bureau. The variety of opportunities I had within the School of Social Work, as an intern and work study student in SWCOS, as an intern with Catholic Charities in their social policy division, and as the co-chair of the International Social Work Organization, combined with my coursework in policy, community organizing and program management have all helped me reach this point.

Ben Kaufman, MSW '11

Program Manager, Maternal and Child Health Technical Assistance

Association of University Centers on Disabilities 

  1. Shdaimah's legislative processes course provided me with a great foundation for understanding social welfare policy at all levels of government, and I found that the assignments had an incredible amount of practical value.  The process of researching, analyzing, and actually testifying on a personally relevant bill quite honestly set my career in the disability field into motion.

Ashley Valis, MSW '06

Executive Director

Community Initiatives and Engagement

University of Maryland, Baltimore

Taking Dr. Meyer’s Community Organizing class back in 2005 was my first exposure to social issue campaigns, how to launch a community effort, and how organizing a group of people to advocate for themselves could be one of the most fulfilling jobs I could have. I used my experience in her class, where we went door to door and organized a neighborhood in East Baltimore, when interviewing for then Mayor O’Malley’s gubernatorial campaign, and I got the job! After 8 years of working in Annapolis, and working on numerous social issue campaigns, from the DREAM Act, to Marriage Equality, I look back now and can see just how much I came to rely on the skills I gained as a MACRO social work student.


Macro Field Placements

The field placement is one of the primary pedagogies schools of social work utilize to train students to be competent practitioners in a broad array of environments in which Macro students will practice.

Macro students select their advanced year field placement from over 70 available Macro sites in the Baltimore-DC region. After a mutual interview, students are placed in one of their top three choices for the advanced year. These placement options explore program development, community organizing, legislative advocacy, policy formulation, employee assistance, and grassroots leadership development. Because of the school’s unique location, placements offer students opportunities to interact with local, national, and international experts. Many of these field placements include stipends.

If an agency you are interested in is not listed, please initiate a conversation to explore new opportunities with faculty and field representatives.

In the first year, field placements are Mondays/Wednesdays OR Tuesdays/Thursdays, for a total of 16 hours a week. Most placements are during regular business hours and students should allow time from 9am to5pm for planning purposes.  In the advanced year, field occurs Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for a total of 24 hours a week. In the first year, field placements are generalist in nature and cover the spectrum of practice from working one-on-one with clients and facilitating groups to an administrative or community assignment.  The first year placements occur in all types of agencies serving a multitude of populations and students develop a solid foundation for client issues, organizational cultures, and administrative practice arenas. 

Licensure and Certification

The Network for Social Work Management (NSWM), a national association, is offering a new Human Services Management Competencies Certificate for graduated students who took coursework that meets 75% of the NSWM management competencies that have been audited and approved for the UMB School of Social Work.

If you have taken the following combined courses (see below) and are interested in receiving the certificate upon graduation, please notify Dr. Karen Hopkins by email the courses you have taken that meet the requirements and we will arrange with you to process and award you the certificate; thereby, gaining a powerful endorsement by the NSWM, the only association dedicated to advancing human service and social work professionals in macro practice management curriculum. You can then note this on your resume.  Thus far, 15 highly ranked social work schools, including UMB, have awarded this certificate to their graduating students.

Qualifying NSWM management competencies:

  • Both SWOA 703 (Program Development, formerly Program Management) and SWOA 721 (Strategic Talent and Performance Management, formerly Human Resources Management


  • Both SWOA 721 (Strategic Talent and Performance Management) and SWOA 722 (Supervision)


  • Both SWOA 721 (Strategic Talent and Performance Management) and SWOA 732 (Resource Development)


  • SWOA 703 (Program Development) and SWOA 722 (Supervision) and SWOA 732 (Resource Development)
Cross Listed Macro Courses


This course examines barriers to and opportunities for the financial stability of individuals, families, and the impact of low wealth in communities. The course uses a comprehensive approach examining social programs and direct practice interventions, financial services, and policies that can move individuals, families, and communities along the asset-building continuum. The impact of issues such as life stage, social class, and cultural background will be examined. Policy issues include savings, consumer protection, tax credits, public benefits, and innovative programs; practice issues include financial assessment and goal setting, financial coaching, and integrating financial interventions with traditional psychosocial interventions. This is an advanced clinical methods course. It is also offered as SWCL 734 for those wanting an advanced macro methods course. The major assignment for the course will vary according to the concentration (SWCL or SWOA) chosen.

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